Partition: The Histories of Borders and Violence in Jammu and Kashmir

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Mohd Arif , Waseem Ahmad Dar


The Partition of august 1947 in South Asian history has become a matter of great significance. Almost two million people have been killed and fifteen million forcefully displaced across the newly drawn border. It redraws the map of subcontinent; relocate/displaced the millions of inhabitants across borders. Researchers begun to dig out that how far it spread and how everlasting were the echoes of partition. Partition presents history that cannot only be narrativized within the structure of the territorial nation-state’s history. In fact it produces more than most happenings the tension between the ideas of the history centered on the state and the manifold identities. The Partition of the British India in 1947 was a defining moment in British-Imperial as well as South Asian history. From the imperial perspective, the British rule lost plentiful of its shine after the loss of its jewel in the crown. From the perspectives of the people of the Indian subcontinent, millions died in the ensuing Partition violence and the forced mass migrations following the division of British Indian Empire into two new independent nation states i.e. India and Pakistan.

The 'truth' of the partition of 1947, lay at least for its sufferers, in all forms ruthless violence done to them. Million faced the brutality of mass killings accompanied by dozens of other problems, which were started in other parts across subcontinent, and reached to them unnoticeably. The gravity as well as the uncertainty of violence that partition had, received the attention from number of scholars and became matter of debate and great significance, in terms of territorial/geographical and demographical settings. The unparalleled ethnic violence seen in the aftermath of the Partition of India has made it identical with violence. Oral accounts of the violence faced by victims, witnesses and, in some situations, perpetrators of the ferocity have carried to light the terrifying nature of the violence intimidated or put under expurgation for almost half a century. This marks an important advance in revisiting the histories of Partition. The connections between partition and other contemporary developments, which are now seen as discrete, instantly call for analysis. Much remains to be prepared before it can positively be held that partitions place in South Asia's history has been completely understood. We have yet to understand fully the echoes of partition on gender relations, caste praxis, religious behavior etc. and the demanding work requires to be completed before we can be assured how partition impacted the economy, geography, demography, and developments of urbanization throughout South Asian history. On the eve of partition and post-partition period Jammu and Kashmir presented a very muddled and mystifying picture. Both countries sought to regulate the affairs of Kashmir because of its strategic position and geo-political importance. The pervasiveness of Partitions afterlife and unending signs of historical trauma in contemporary times further demand the critical engagement on the subject. This paper will focus on the process of conceptualizing and drawing of multiple borders across Kashmir in the post partition period.It revisits the partition literature, histories, borders and its politics, which played pivotal role in defining the ongoing crisis in Kashmir.

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